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Am J Hum Genet. 1991 Jun;48(6):1186-91.

A single base mutation in type I procollagen (COL1A1) that converts glycine alpha 1-541 to aspartate in a lethal variant of osteogenesis imperfecta: detection of the mutation with a carbodiimide reaction of DNA heteroduplexes and direct sequencing of products of the PCR.

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Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Jefferson Institute of Molecular Medicine, Jefferson Medical College, Thomas Jefferson University, Philadelphia, PA 19107.


Skin fibroblasts from a proband with a lethal variant of osteogenesis imperfecta synthesized both apparently normal type I procollagen and a type I procollagen that had slow electrophoretic mobility because of posttranslational overmodifications. The thermal unfolding of the collagen molecules as assayed by protease digestion was about 2 degrees C lower than normal. It is surprising, however, that collagenase A and B fragments showed an essentially normal melting profile. Assay of cDNA heteroduplexes with a new technique involving carbodiimide modification indicated a mutation at about the codon for amino acid 550 of the alpha 1(I) chain. Subsequent amplification of the cDNA by the PCR and nucleotide sequencing revealed a single-base mutation that substituted an aspartate codon for glycine at position alpha 1-541 in the COL1A1 gene. The results here confirm previous indications that the effects of glycine substitutions in type I procollagen are highly position specific. They also demonstrate that a recently described technique for detecting single-base differences by carbodiimide modification of DNA heteroduplexes can be effectively employed to locate mutations in large genes.

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